Connecting strategy and audience for better results

There is major power within listicles. In case you’re wondering, list +  article = listicle, or simply, a story that summarizes points in a list format. Think, Top Five Ways To or Best Eight Vacation Spots or Six Things You Must Know About.

Listicles are very popular and that’s why we wanted to explore this topic a bit further to help you communicate in this reader-friendly format. Listicles make for great media coverage (their headlines are very sellable to media outlets when pitched), and they often have the best reach on social media.

So, how do you begin writing your own listicle? Consider these top five tips:

  1. Goals and Point of Value. Review your organization’s goals, and then write a listicle about one of your main goals that you wish to communicate. Is your organization trying to increase members, volunteers or clients? What are some of the top things that you want your audience to consider? Do you have the most resources, help the most people or have the best price? Start there in mapping out in which direction to head.
  2. Keep it Brief. Only in certain cases should your list include more than 10 points. Readers have shorter attention spans than ever before. Research shows that if your list is too lengthy, your readers will either disengage or perhaps just read the top two points.
  3. Order of Importance. Decide whether you want your list to begin or end with your main point. Evaluate what you’re trying to say, and decide if you want to put your most valuable list point at the top of the article or at the end so that your reader is inclined to consume the entire article.
  4. Tone of Content. Will your listicle be geared toward helpful advice, a rating or review of products or another type of article? Going back to point number one, think about the goals of your organization when putting together the format for your list. If your goal is to increase volunteers, you may want to put together a list of the Top Five Reasons Volunteering is fun.
  5. Be an expert. This last point is the most important. Prove that you’re truly an expert about the content in your list. We all know what it’s like to scroll through our social media feed and click on a listicle only to realize the article was a big disappointment. It was either falsely advertised, feel that it was too vague or disagreed with the points. No one enjoys a fluff list. If you’re embedded in your industry, it’s likely that you have a great deal of knowledge and the understanding to create a valuable list. Where problems arise is when you have a copywriter creating content about an industry they don’t truly understand. You and your audience will notice this (even subconsciously) and disengage. You know your stuff; write about it.

Listicles are a great way to produce excellent content and gain coveted media coverage. For more help with creating listicles for your organization, reach out to us at info@nspublicrelations.com.

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